Formerly housing the nation’s largest producer of small arms ammunition, many of the buildings on the St. Louis Job Corps campus were unusable or in disrepair. The Continuum team designed a solution that unites the various campus functions, enhances the buildings’ aesthetics, and improves program spaces. The overall design philosophy was based on the nearby confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, a perfect metaphor for the coming together of diverse students to make new connections, find new opportunities, and change the course of their lives.
The phased design includes the demolition of 20 structures, the renovation of three buildings, and seven additions. The largest building is designed to accommodate vocational, office, maintenance, and warehouse spaces. It involves a 48,000-square-foot gut renovation on the main level to carve out eight hard vocational shops with associated storage rooms, classrooms, and instructors’ offices. A two-story, 28,000-square-foot addition perpendicular to this building includes soft vocational training and administrative functions.